by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
Peter's first epistle is addressed to "strangers in the world," who have their homeland in heaven. They are not surprised that they suffer when they do what is right. They follow the footprints of Jesus.
1 Peter 4:1–6
Whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin ... live for the rest of your earthly life ... by the will of God (1 Pet. 4:1–2, NRSV).
Thinking of Christ, we can understand that "whoever has suffered in the flesh has finished with sin." When Christ's suffering was over, the power of sin could no longer harm him. But this rule also applies to us. If we accept the way of Jesus—a way of suffering—we are through with sin. Once we have gone out on a limb and suffered unjustly, we have identified with Jesus. Then our minds are made up. We don't live the rest of our earthly lives by human desires, by whatever suits our fancy. Instead, we do the will of God.
Of course, we continue to live "in the flesh" after we have become one with Jesus Christ. We don't stop being what we are. But we cease doing what we did.
We must be fully aware that our choice for Jesus (which came in response to Jesus' choosing us) will bring us suffering. Not all parents, preachers, and teachers are honest about the fact that we cannot do God's will and escape suffering.
But faith says that the new life with Christ is worth the price in the present life. "Arm yourselves with this attitude," Peter says. So what if our lifestyle makes us less than popular? We are devoted not to what is popular but to what is right. Our minds are made up to follow the Master. No turning back.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version